Patrick: Evil Snoozes

Patrick: Evil Awakens is currently available on instant Netflix

Patrick

 

Patrick: Evil Awakens (2013) – Not rated

Behind the walls of the Roget Clinic, which specializes in the care of coma cases, a supposedly brain-dead patient is subjected to brutal experiments.”

The original Patrick (1978) was a fascinating take on the then very popular psychic powers subgenre. This subgenre was essentially started with Stephen King’s Carrie (or Brian DePalma’s Carrie if you prefer, 1976). Patrick shares some additional similarities with The Medusa Touch (1978) as not only do  the main characters have psychich abilities but both are in comas. Brian DePalma revisited this territory in 1978 with an adaptation of John Farris’ psychic powers tale, The Fury but wait let me digress further.

The original Patrick (1978) was part of the Aussie exploitation wave. In 2008, director Mark Hartley detailed the making of that film and the Aussie exploitation wave in the outstanding documentary, Not Quite Hollywood: The Wild, Untold Story of Ozploitation. He followed that up with the almost as good Machete Maidens Unleashed!, the story of Filipino filmmaking. Last year, he made Electric Boogaloo – the story of Cannon films. Unfortunately that isn’t available anywhere as yet.

Why am I digressing so much? Because it’s fun. Seriously though since Carrie was given the reboot treatment, why not Patrick? Mark Hartley apparently loved the original Patrick enough to remake it. Apparently, the name Patrick is too generic so the suits attached “Evil Awakens” to the title.

Sadly Hartley’s expertise at documentaries does not carry over to horror movies. Patrick: Evil Awakens is fairly generic with various attempts to update the proceedings to include the internet and cellphone usage. There are several creepy scenes, the nature of which I am loathe to spoil but Hartley is apparently of the Woman in Black 2 school of direction. Everything is Boo! Boo! Boo! but the ‘scares’ are of no significance and actually detract from the plot.

Charles Dance is a welcome addition to essentially any movie and this one is no exception. Still he can’t save a movie without a good script. Other performances are okay but not particularly memorable. The subplots and secondary characters aren’t fleshed out enough for audiences to care about any third act twists.

Patrick: Evil Awakens is a passable waste of time. It could have been much better if more time had been spent on the script and less on gratuitous gore, nudity, and jump scares.

 

New Netflix Streaming Releases for the Week of 7/22/14

A fair number of documentaries and a smattering of other items

Action: Dead in Tombstone

Comedy: Authors Anonymous

The Act of Killing

Documentary: The Act of Killing: Director’s Cut (37 minutes longer), Downloaded, Particle Fever, Sounding the Alarm: Battling the Autism Epidemic, War Don Don, Weekend of a Champion, The Ballad of Ramblin’ Jack, Jack Kerouac: King of the Beats

Drama: McCanick

Family: Animal ABC’s, An American Girl: McKenna Shoots for the Stars

Riley Rewind

Fantasy & Science Fiction: Riley Rewind

Foreign: Andaz Apna Apna, The Last Days, Special 26, Bethlehem

Manhunter

Horror: Manhunter, Patrick: Evil Awakens

Television: Forensic Files, Harry and His Bucket Full of Dinosaurs, Inside: Lego, TEDTalks: Body by Design, Unsealed: Conspiracy Files, Pac-Man and the Ghostly Adventures, and new episodes of Hell on Wheels and Baby Daddy

Thriller: Gun Hill

Patrick – Ozploitation week

This week I am covering genre films from down under. Patrick is currently available on instant Netflix.

Patrick

WATCH: Patrick (1978) – Rated PG

“After murdering his mother and her lover during a bathtub tryst, young Patrick (Robert Thompson) lies comatose in a small, private hospital, where the only motion he can muster is involuntary spitting. When a young nurse, recently separated from her husband, begins working at the hospital, she senses that Patrick is trying to communicate with her psychically. Soon after, the men (and women) in her life mysteriously begin to die.”

I’ve got a weird feeling” – “Indigestion?”  – Yep. You betcha  – after watching this film.

While I enjoyed this film, it is very slow-moving (what did you expect when the title character is comatose?). This was made in the late 70s when everyone was rushing psychic phenomena movies to print in the wake of Carrie’s success. Because this trend was new at the time, they take a lot of time slowly building up Patrick’s ability. I do recommend this film if you have patience as it is an interesting story but Carrie, The Fury, and The Medusa Touch are better movies on the same subject.

This is a bizarre PG film.  While enough was apparently cut for a PG rating, this film still contains brief nudity including male full frontal, sexual activity, profanity, attempted spousal rape, a handjob, and mentions of necrophilia, enemas, and nymphomania.

The original film was 140 minutes but was trimmed to 112 minutes for U.S. release. While the movie feels like it runs too long at 112 minutes, it also leaves a lot out so the editing is somewhat poor. One character’s fate is shown after the fact, another’s fate is never determined, and there are a few other inconsistencies. The director has stated that the extra footage is unfortunately lost.

It was mentioned in Not Quite Hollywood that Quentin Tarantino patterned some of the Bride’s scenes in Kill Bill after this movie and it is pretty obvious that this is true. Strangely this Australian film spawned an Italian sequel, Patrick vive ancora (1980 – Patrick is Still Alive) that was simply a reimagining of the original with none of the cast or crew.

People watch: Director Richard Franklin later directed the much better Road Games and then directed a number of Hollywood movies. He later directed genre pictures such as Psycho 2, F/X 2, and Link but never had a real breakout hit. His last film was Visitors (2003) and he passed away in 2007. Not Quite Hollywood is dedicated to him.